Prince Markie Dee Dies: Member Of Rap Pioneers The Fat Boys, Hit Songwriter Was 52
Prince Markie Dee, aka Mark Morales, best known as a member of the pioneering hip-hop group The Fat Boys, died on Thursday, according to the group’s manager. He was 52 and no cause of death has been revealed.
“Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends,” manager Louis Gregory wrote on Twitter. “My heart breaks today because I lost a brother. I’ll always love you Mark and I’ll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro.”
Mark Anthony Morales teamed up with Darren Robinson (the Human Beatbox) and Damon Wimbley (Kool Rock Ski) as The Disco 3, later transitioning to become The Fat Boys. They began in 1983 by winning a Radio City Music Hall talent show
They went on to become a mainstay of early hip-hop, bringing beatboxing into the mainstream and peaking with the 1987 platinum album Crushin’ and a key part in comedy film Disorderlies.
Among the group’s hits were Can You Feel It?, Jail House Rap, and The Fat Boys Are Back. Their biggest hit was their Crushin’ cover of Wipeout with the Beach Boys that gave them their biggest hit, reaching Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Later, the group’s cover version of The Twist with Chubby Checker from Coming Back Hard Again hit Number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Dee wasn’t done in his post-Fatboys career. He launched a solo career and wrote and produced songs for Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Mary J. Blige, including her hit Real Love, her first top ten hit. On his own, his 1992 album Free had a number one hit with Typical Reasons (Swing My Way).
Later in his career, he became a popular radio host at WMIB in Miami, and also had a show on SiriusXM’s Rock the Bells station, The Prince Markie Dee Show.
“They were figuratively (no weight jokes) the biggest act in hip hop at some point in time,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “Like the first act that showed this culture might have some real international legs to it … They were so dope we just took them for granted. They did dope routines & dancesteps, albums went gold & platinum. Did movies & tv & commercials. They explored territories for the first time that today just seems like *yawn* a Tuesday.”
No information was immediately available on survivors or memorial plans.
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